It seems impossible that a two-hour trip from Tokyo Station could place us directly in a setting that’s not unlike the world created in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. Yet here we are on top of a mountain in Fukushima Prefecture, feeling like we’ve somehow teleported to the Scottish Highlands. Not quite a theme park and not quite a hotel, British Hills can only be described as an experience.
Inspired by the interior design trends of the Victorian era, the various structures of British Hills, including the eight guesthouses and reception, are furnished with plush, decorative, antique pieces. Standard guest rooms are equipped with beautiful bathrooms, extravagant bathtubs and luxurious bedspreads.
The most impressive set up, however, is found at the Manor House. Guests can participate in one of the three daily tours of areas such as the library, boasting 1,600 titles primarily from the 19th century, and the Queen’s Room and King’s Room, which feature elements such as lush sofas and elegant, authentic furniture. Offered both in English and in Japanese, the tour offers an in-depth explanation of the British Royal Family as well as décor from the 1800s.
How have they managed to achieve such comprehensive detail? Rather than simply stocking their rooms with reproductions, British Hills made sure to import everything – from the furniture to the wood beams – directly from England.
With such a palpable British essence, the resort naturally also offers a wide variety of menus featuring British and French cuisine. With a total of three restaurants – the Refectory, the Ascot Tea Room and the Falstaff Pub – guests can experience every facet of the British culinary world. We tucked into traditional tea and scones, and later spent a good deal of time admiring their well-stocked whiskey bar. For dinner we were treated to high-end gastronomy that fuses seasonal Japanese ingredients with British staples.
Despite its dedication to recreating an old-world atmosphere, British Hills boasts contemporary facilities, allowing guests to imagine they’re living the day-to-day existence of a modern aristocrat. There is also plenty to keep you entertained including a gymnasium, tennis courts and a snooker room.
Those seeking fresh air will love the nature trail, which takes approximately one hour to complete before bringing you back to the Barracks. Lastly, we have to give a shout out to British Hills’ very own mascot, the adorable labrador retriever named Love-chan who welcomes a game of fetch any time of the day.
WANT TO BRUSH UP ON YOUR ENGLISH SKILLS?
As well as being a vacation destination, British Hills is also popular for its immersive English-language experience. Non-native English speakers of all levels are encouraged to practice their language skills. Visited by schools and universities across Japan as an easier, more affordable alternative to trips abroad, the resort offers English lessons in classrooms reminiscent of British boarding schools. With bilingual staff from both Japan and overseas, British Hills offers a unique all-English environment outside of Tokyo.
For more information, go to www.british-hills.co.jp/english
Photographs by David Jaskiewicz